The development shall be brought into effect immediately
The Central Government on Wednesday brought digital or online media, films and audio-visual programmes, news and current affairs content under the domain of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Issued by the Cabinet Secretariat, the notification declared that the President has signed the order to include online films, digital news and current affairs content under the purview of the I&B Ministry headed by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar. As per the notification, the development shall be brought into effect at once.
It is to be noted that, at present, there is no law or autonomous body governing digital content.
The notification, signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, said the decision has been taken in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (3) of article 77 of the Constitution, by amending the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961. With this, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has the power to regulate policies related to news, audio, visual contents and films available on online platforms.
“In the Government of India (Allocation of Business, 1961, in THE SECOND SCHEDULE, under the heading ‘MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING (SOOCHANA AUR PRASARAN MANTRALAYA)’ after entry 22, the following sub-heading and entries shall be inserted, namely:- VA. DIGITAL/ONLINE MEDIA. 22A. Films and Audio-Visual programmes made available by online content providers. 22B. News and current affairs content on online platforms,” The notification from the Central Government stated.
Last month, the ministry of Information and Broadcasting had declared digital media entities engaged in uploading/streaming of current affairs and news through ‘Digital Media’ eligible for digital advertisements through the Bureau of Outreach and Communication. At the same time, the industry has been provided a clearance to formulate self-regulating bodies for furthering their interests and interaction with the Government, similar to self-regulating bodies in print and electronic media.